On February 3 at 6pm, Ipswich resident and author Doug Stewart will read from his recently published bookThe Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare: A Tale of Forgery and Folly.
In the winter of 1795, a frustrated young writer named William Henry Ireland stood petrified in his father’s study as two of England’s most esteemed scholars interrogated him about a tattered piece of paper that he claimed to have found in an old trunk. It was a note from William Shakespeare. Or was it?
In the months that followed, Ireland produced a torrent of Shakespearean fabrications: letters, poetry, drawings–even an original full-length play that would be hailed as the Bard’s lost masterpiece and staged at the Drury Lane Theatre. The documents were forensically implausible, but the people who inspected them ached to see first hand what had flowed from Shakespeare’s quill. And so they did.
This dramatic and improbable story of Shakespeare’s teenaged double takes us to eighteenth century London and brings us face-to-face with history’s most audacious forger.
Doug Stewart writes frequently about history and the arts for Smithsonian Magazine. His stories have also appeared inTime, Geo, Muse, Discover, and Connoisseur. Stewart has worked as a book and magazine editor, a ghost writer, a science writer, and a restaurant columnist. He lives in Ipswich, with his wife and fellow writer, Coco McCabe, and their two sons. This is his first book.
Established in 1998, the award-winning River’s Edge is located at 15 Market Street in downtown Ipswich. The Book Nook at River’s Edge offers an eclectic collection of quirky and classic books. For more information about the store and upcoming events, please call (978)356-2363, email Paul Allen-Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.riversedgegift.com